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Why no word on city police raid for days?

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 17. 2016 11:49PM

MANCHESTER — Less than a month after promising to be forthcoming about police activity on a daily basis, Manchester police went incommunicado over the weekend, not providing daily logs and ignoring pleas for information about a midday, high-profile SWAT raid on Friday.

The department received complaints about the information blackout starting Monday morning.

By the afternoon, a police official said a computer glitch appeared to have prevented the automatic posting of the police log — a brief and sometimes vague description of most police calls — on the police department website. The log was posted within an hour.

In early September, Manchester police started encrypting all police radio transmissions. At the time, Police Chief Nick Willard said each day’s police log would be provided the following morning.

Police Capt. Maureen Tessier asked for patience as the department tries to work through new policies for providing up-to-date information to the media.

“We’re working on it. It’s a work in progress,” said Tessier, who oversees legal work and professional standards for the department.

Willard is attending a police chief association meeting all week, and Assistant Police Chief Carlo Capano is undergoing FBI training.

SWAT raid leads to arrest

After being queried by reporters, Tessier released details about a SWAT raid and Bearcat deployment that took place around noon Friday at 287 Lake Ave.

Police said they found Luis Ramos Torres, 25, inside a bedroom and charged him with sale of crack cocaine and two counts of heroin sales. During a search, they found six grams of cocaine, five grams of heroin and three 50-milligram pills of Tramadol Hydrochloride.

On Friday evening, a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter waited on hold for 40 minutes seeking information about the Lake Avenue raid.

In a Monday email to Willard and police brass, freelance journalist Jeffrey Hastings complained about the three-day blackout. He also had sought information about the raid.

“No press releases came out again over the weekend, so with zero police logs, no radio monitoring, no press releases, we are now three days later with the public having zero answers,” Hastings wrote.

Both Tessier and Mark Roy, the chairman of the civilian Police Commission, said police are working out new policies for relaying information to the media.

“The chief is doing a great job of getting the right policies into place,” Roy said. “The intent is to have full transparency with the press and maintain officer safety. I know his goal is to have the proper information disseminated in a fair and realistic time frame.”

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